Category: Events

The Best Orange is the New Black Halloween Group Costume!

Nov
01
2014

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love dressing up for Halloween. So when I enlisted some of my good friends by asking if they were in on donning a group costume of characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, I was totally excited about taking the reins.

Nexflix.com

Photo from Netflix.com

It’s kind of eerie that a lot of my friends actually look like characters from the show. I asked who was interested who they might want to play, others I assigned roles since they didn’t watch the show, but looked the part (half of our group never watched a single episode). After Googling the Clubcrawlers website looking for some interested Halloween parties that the group can attend on the big day, I ran across one that was being hosted by Fame Media at the prestigious Roy Thompson Hall in Downtown Toronto. Early bird tickets were only $20, right within my budget. Halloween Massacre here we come!

17 of my good friends donning prison garb on Halloween as characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black.

17 of my good friends donning prison garb on Halloween as characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black.

Luckily the wardrobe for Orange is the New Black is pretty simple: The first thing I knew we needed were the trademark tan-coloured scrubs that doubled as our prison uniform. My friends know that I’m a stickler for detail, so I purchased a bunch if scrub sets from Amazon for $20 each. As word spread of my group costume idea, more of my friends informed me that they wanted to be in on it, so I had to make another order, praying that it got shipped to my address in time for Halloween (just over a week). I ordered a single orange pair for “newbie” Piper, then used fabric paint to write “D.O.C.” at the back.

A photo posted by @blaquecat on

There was a total of  16 scrubs for the gang. With a few last minute character additions, we were up to 18 people with one week left to go ’til Halloween, so one of us managed to find a dye a white pair of scrubs she bought at Wal-Mart, and I managed to find another tan set at Value Village. Uniforms? Check!

  A photo posted by @blaquecat on

Next were the name badges. Luckily I found the perfect, basic template by a user on Deviant Art. The only thing I needed to do was add in the photo of each of the “inmates”. But that wasn’t enough for me. This group costume had to be perfect! After masking all the inmate photos in, I used Photoshop to give each tag a unique ID number. I also created staff ID badges for Officer George “Pornstache” Mendez and John Bennett, on the off chance that we could get a couple of our guys to play the part (no luck though). I printed them off at Staples in colour and on cardstock paper, picked up some heavy-duty name badge holders and alligator clips. Name badges? Done!

After countless emails trying to rally the group together and make sure they read up a bit of info on their assigned character, so that they got the right hair, accessories make-up and attitude, we were all set! We all donned black boots, and I was even impressed with three members of our group who actually found replica jackets that the Litchfield inmates wore when they went outside (it was super-chilly and rainy on Halloween). I even managed to get some decent grey, thermal tops from Old Navy to wear under our scrubs as we made our way through The Village that night (most of us were sweating on the dance floor from all the layers later on).

We got so many compliments on our costume from other Halloween revelers. Donning the trademarks bantu-knots that Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren wears (which had been my go-to hairstyle for the last 15 years, I’ll have you know), I got easily recognized as a character from the show. Once one member of our group was acknowledge, then people will turn their heads and excitedly identify our whole troupe. It’s a shame we were missing other notable members from the cast, like Red and Big Boo (but we did see some one dressed as her in The Village).

A photo posted by TMZ PHOTOS (@tmz_halloween) on

A photo posted by TMZ PHOTOS (@tmz_halloween) on

We got stopped for photo-ops constantly (now we know how celebrities feel)! We even made it on to a segment of CityTV news with a crew of Church Street party-goers in police costumes. I wish I could’ve brought my DSLR around, because my cell phone doesn’t take as nice photos at night/indoors. We did managed to get a few shots of most of us together which was cool.

Church Street was fun as usual. Amazing costumes and good vibes. It’s too bad it was cold and rainy, otherwise we would’ve spent more time there. The party at Roy Thompson Hall was amazing! Great music, amazing venue, nice people and I love seeing every guest in costume.

All the planning paid off. My friends had so much fun, which is what I wanted to do for all of us. It’s too bad we didn’t know of any costume contests going on, otherwise we would definitely have won (then have to fight over splitting the prize 18 ways. We just might hold on to these costumes for another event. Best Halloween ever (so far)!

So what do you think of our costumes? Did we nail it or what?

A big shout out goes to Sophia, Pennsatucky, Daya, Tricia, Alex, Poussey, Vee, Morello, Nicky, Taystee, Janae, Brook, Aleida, Flaka, Black Cindy, Maria and my dandelion, Piper! :-D

 

Michonne’s Happy Halloween!

Nov
01
2013

Halloween 2013 was definitely one of the most entertaining I’ve had.

Not only did I make a kick-ass Michonne costume, but I got to show it off at a couple of events on All Hallows Eve.

The whole Michonne getup. I even tried to get a similar grey satchel!

The whole Michonne getup. I even tried to get a similar grey satchel!

A group of 10 of us purchased discounted tickets to Medieval Times. I’ve never been before, so was keen on checking it out (who’s to turn down a good ol’ joust?). Tickets were only $30, which is a steal compared to their regular price of $63.95.

It was cool seeing the medieval characters act out the storyline throughout the night. We were seated in the black & white section and given our cardboard crowns and flags to cheer for our knight. The “battles” actually held my attention. Sparks were flying as each knight fought their carefully choreographed with their steel blades. Sparks were also flying whenever the Green Knight came into the arena (he was a dead ringer for the handsome actor Chris Hemsworth).  The Green Knight claimed victory at the end of the evening. But I give best fashion sense to our black & white knight who sported a cool moustache (I even caught the carnation he threw into our row!)

This Halloween special event was only $30!

This Halloween special event was only $30!

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Whenever I asked people about the food at Medieval Times, they would say it left something to be desired. I don’t know if they recently changed their recipe, but the food was actually pretty decent (though it could’ve been the fact that my friends and I were really hungry).

On the menu was garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, a tasty half-a-chicken, a single rib, a baked potato and an apple tart for dessert. For the price, I think it was a very good evening.

After Medieval Times (at which a couple of the workers stated they absolutely loved my Michonne costume), we headed to The Church Street Block Party. I’m seriously thinking about making a stop here each Halloween, because the costumes you see at this street event are so creative and well done.

I felt like a celebrity walking down the crowded street in my Michonne costume. Got stopped multiple times to pose for photos with fans from The Walking Dead. One girl actually said seeing me in my costume made her night. Another one shouted “Michonne! Where’s your zombies?” I had to reply (while pointing to my empty chain around my waist) that they ran away.

A split screen with actress Danai Gurira who plays Michonne on The Walking Dead.

A split screen with actress Danai Gurira who plays Michonne on The Walking Dead.

I think my costume is pretty similar! Though I wish the vest was a lighter shade of brown.

I think my costume is pretty similar! Though I wish the vest was a lighter shade of brown.

I think I did a pretty good job with the cloak for not using a sewing pattern.

I think I did a pretty good job with the cloak for not using a sewing pattern.

Some of my favourite costumes of the night: Bishop (90s version from X-Men), Thundercat’s Cheetara, and a sea coral (balloons) with a couple Nemos. Can’t wait ’til next year.

My costume is getting a rest until Comic Con in March 2014!

 

Review: Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show

Sep
29
2013

On Friday, I ventured off to the west end of the city towards The Toronto Congress Centre where they were hosting the third annual Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show. When I first came across the ad in the newspaper, I was excited: celebrity chefs such as Anna Olson, baker Buddy Valastro (Cake Boss), and the Cupcake Girls were going to be there. Plus, I have been personally practicing my cake-making skills and wanted to check out all the baking gadgets I could buy.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Anna or Buddy, because they weren’t scheduled to appear until the next couple days, but I did get to see the Cupcake Girls, Heather and Lori, and hear a bit about how they got started in the business which was inspiring.

I only paid $6 for entry (the perks of teacher discounts), and got a mini swag bag which I thought could use a little more “swag” (the Fleischmann’s Yeast Best Ever Breads cookbook and the $5 Canadian Tire coupon weren’t too shabby though).

I got some great deals on a couple cake tins and mini baking cups from the MDC Housewares booth. Ate a delicious portugese custard tart from Doce Minho Bakery, then wandered down to the Redpath booth. I picked up a free copy of an integrated curriculum resource about food energy! This will be very helpful for my teaching this year. George Brown College instructor (and professional pastry chef) Christophe Measson, put on a demo of one of his recipes: Baked Rice Pudding with Milk Jam, Apricot and Mango Compote, and Shortbread (that was a mouthful). Engaging and comedic (complete with the French accent), Christophe’s demo was easy to follow and I learned a few tricks that would help with my dessert preparation.

A few pasta cutters and a stainless-steel perogi press (I know, I know… one step at a time) were my purchases at Adamo Imports. I splurged a bit at McCalls: cake boards, boxes, bags and sticks for all the baked goods I plan on making as gifts for the holidays. Flour Confections was the last major stop and they had a wide selection of gel colours on sale, and I also picked up a couple buckets of fondant.

Personally, I thought the show was going to be a little bigger, with more vendors and giveaways. I was in and out within a couple hours. But the deals I got on some of the baking tools were pretty good. I loved the demo put on by Redpath, and seeing the fondant-covered masterpieces for the Cake Competition was awe-inspiring. I’ll probably go again next year.

One of several of the cakes for the Alice in Wonderland Theme Competition by professional bakers.

One of several of the cakes for the Alice in Wonderland Theme Competition by professional bakers.

Merry Christmas! (Yeah, I said it)

Dec
25
2012

From everyone here at alotaboutnothing.com (which is just me), I’m wishing you a very Merry Christmas! Don’t celebrate Christmas, you say? Well then, Happy Holidays to you. Hopefully you didn’t feel ‘offended’ with my non-politically-correct post title.

I honestly miss the days when I didn’t have to second-guess myself when wishing someone happiness during the holiday season, for fear that they’d wind up offended and stalk away (trust me, I’ve seen it happen). And renaming the “Christmas tree”  for a “holiday tree” is a bit like me renaming the Jewish menorah the “holiday candle stick” or the Diwali lanterns as the “holiday lighted objects”.

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In all honesty, as a Christian, I would not be offended if a stranger came up to me with a smile and wished me a “Happy Diwali”, “Happy Hanukkah”, or a “Happy Chinese New Year”.  Why not? Because I know that each culture’s annual celebration is grounded in positive thoughts, respect, happiness and spending time with loved ones.

I don’t want to feel ashamed about celebrating Christmas, due to all this unnecessary political correctness surrounding the holiday.Check out Conservative MP Nina Grewal’s recent statement in the House of Commons:

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As a Sikh, I am not offended when Christians celebrate Christmas in a traditional way. Rather, I am pleased to celebrate with my Christian friends. – Nina Grewal, MP

When it comes down to it, historically Christmas (for Christians) is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Over the years traditions may have changed, including pre-Christian influences of other winter traditions (e.g. Santa Claus, Yule logs) as well as other secular aspects (e.g. gift exchange  decorations), but the message is basically the same:  spending quality time with your family and friends, peace, being thankful for what you have, Golden Rule love and ‘good will to all men’.

No matter what you celebrate over the holiday season, remember to cherish your loved ones, and be kind to others this Chrismahanukwanzakah. Merry Christmas everyone!

World Poutine Eating Championship

Oct
13
2012

Fries, cheese curds and gravy went flying today at Yonge-Dundas Square as contestants took part in the third annual World Poutine Eating Championship. Only in Canada.

Hosted by Smoke’s Poutinerie, eaters from around the world faced off at eating the most poutine in 10 minutes.

The winner of the Amateur competition downed 7 1/4lbs of poutine in 10 6 minutes, and walked off with free poutine for a year (though I could’ve sworn the emcee mentioned ‘for life’). Either way, that’s a whole lot of poutine.

I forgoed picking up a box of the free poutine they were giving away (the line was way too long anyway), and stuck around for the Professional competition. People of all shapes and sizes were lined up ready to take on the title. Who would’ve thought that the petite Meredith Boxberger of Barrie, Ontario would garner 6th place over all those burley looking men?

The winner of the Professional competition was Joey Chesnut, who ate a whopping 19 boxes of Smoke’s Poutinerie poutine. He got himself a nice $2000 cash prize,  a retro-looking trophy, and bragging rights as the poutine-eating champion of the world.

Watching these people shove poutine in their mouths is a visual I’ll never forget. I love my poutine, but after today’s display I may not be eating it for a while.